Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 4-30-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Paul Loprinzi

Second Advisor

Allison Ford-Wade

Third Advisor

Hannah Allen

Relational Format



Retrieval Induced Forgetting (RIF) is a type of active forgetting that may play beneficial and detrimental roles in long-term memory. The benefit of the retrieval of certain information is that information will become more readily available following subsequent retrieval; a concept termed the retrieval practice effect (RP). The detrimental effect of RIF may be that, upon the subsequent recall of certain information, related information may be inhibited from recall. The effects and mechanisms of RIF have remained a topic of debate among neuroscientists, psychologists, and other related scholars. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of acute exercise of varying intensities on RIF. Previous work indicates that those who regularly exercise have been observed to exhibit higher incidences of RIF. However, the present thesis experiment utilized an item-recognition assessment, as opposed to a cued-recall test that has been used in previous studies. The use of an item-recognition assessment should, in theory, better isolate the inhibition mechanism of RIF. A total of 50 participants were subjected to the RIF paradigm, including three phases: study, retrieval-practice, and final test. Participants were randomly assigned to a (1) control group with no exercise, (2) a moderate-intensity exercise group, or (3) a vigorous-intensity exercise group. After a five-minute rest period following exercise, all participants immediately began the RIF paradigm. Our results demonstrated a retrieval practice effect, but not a RIF effect. Furthermore, acute exercise did not influence retrieval practice or RIF. Further studies will be required to investigate the mechanisms of RIF and the factors involved in it’s occurrence.


Walter Myers Simpson III: The Effects of Acute Exercise on Retrieval Induced Forgetting (Under the direction of Dr. Paul Loprinzi)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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